Governor Mark Gordon believes all Wyomingites should have a clear understanding of how taxpayer dollars are spent. With easy access to our state’s budget, citizens can better understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the Great State of Wyoming.
Understanding Wyoming's budget process
Wyoming operates under a two-year budgeting process often called a biennial budget. As part of this process the Governor proposes to the Legislature a budget that covers the next two fiscal years, which run from July 1 to June 30. The two-year budget is debated and passed in even years (i.e. 2018, 2020).
The Governor and Legislature can also update the budget halfway through the process with a supplemental budget, where the Governor proposes needed changes for the second year of the budget to the Legislature. This comes during odd numbered years.
Governor Gordon wants to honor the intent of the biennial budgeting process with stable and sustainable funding for Wyoming's state government. That means a supplemental budget is solely for requests that are emergency in nature or for other needs that cannot be postponed until the next budget session.
The Governor believes a true biennial budgeting process is more streamlined and cost-effective. Additionally, budgeting for two years allows for better long-term planning.
How is Wyoming funded?
Government services and programs are paid for by drawing upon three main accounts: General funds, Federal funds, and Other funds.
General Funds consist primarily of severance tax revenue, federal mineral royalties, sales and use tax, and investment income.
Federal Funds come to Wyoming primarily through grants to state and local governments; this funding helps finance health care, social services, highways, housing, community development, child care, job training, and clean water, among others.
Other Funds are comprised of all remaining fund types as well as multiple sub-funds. Examples include special revenue like the dollars people who hunt and fish pay, capital projects, enterprise funds, internal service funds, permanent land income funds, and endowment funds. All "Other Funds" are subject to legislative review and appropriation based on budgets submitted in the same manner as the ordinary operation of state government but only for the specific purpose for which the account was created.
The importance of transparent government
Governor Gordon set the goal of improving financial transparency in Wyoming while he served as State Treasurer and has continued that mission as Governor. Simply put: in an era of revenue uncertainty, the Governor believes it’s now more important than ever to know exactly how much money the state of Wyoming has to spend and how it is being spent. Because Wyoming state government does not enjoy unlimited funding, having an open, honest debate about priorities is crucial when every "yes" to an expenditure might mean "no" to a different one.
Governor Gordon encourages all Wyomingites to understand the two-year budget recommendations he is proposing to the Legislature, so that citizens can be informed about where and how their tax dollars are eventually used if they are approved by the Legislature. This allows the public to see if there are areas where the Legislature has its own funding ideas. Wyoming has enjoyed a steady quality of life for generations; in order to preserve and improve that quality of life, we must be good stewards of the funds that enable Wyoming to function and prosper. Decisions about how to spend hard-earned dollars are never easy; whether it's within a family or a state government, understanding the details of a budget can mean the difference between struggling and thriving.
Recommended vs. appropriated budget
On November 18, 2019 Governor Gordon released his recommended budget for 2021 and 2022. In even numbered years, the Legislature convenes in a Budget Session beginning on the second Monday of February, which typically lasts 20 legislative days. The Legislature may alter the Governor’s recommendations, including adding, removing or reallocating funding.
Once the Legislature passes the budget bill and appropriates funding for the next two years, those exact numbers will be added to this site for easy access and comparison.
To understand expenditures from state agencies, please refer to the Chapter 17 tab on the above menu. The Chapter 17 Report allows the Legislature to review the agency’s Standard Budget and the specific amount the Base Budget differs from the Standard Budget estimate before the agency’s budget hearing with the Joint Appropriations Committee.